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Rank Your Hub In The Search Engines

Updated on June 11, 2011

Ranking In The Search Engines

There is no real secret as to how to rank a hub in the search engines for your keywords.

Use Your Keywords in Your Hub

First you need to know what you keyword phrase is. Use this in your hub's url, in the title, in first paragraph, and in the last paragraph. That's enough if you are only writing 500 words - you can use it a few more times if you are writing a longer hub. The main mistake people make is being too clever.

In practice if you write naturally and don't use cute or allegorical titles you will probably be fine. If you can't get the exact hub url you want - use it in the title and change the url until you get a unique one - adding a phrase or a number to the end of the url - not the start.

Get Anchored Backlinks to Your Hub

This is whole subject in itself but use your keywords when commenting on other hubs. Setup a blog to promote your hubs. Setup free blogs on or to do the same thing.

Anchored backlinks are in fact the most important thing you can do to get your hub (or any other website ranked for that matter). 

You have to be at the top!
You have to be at the top!

How to Optimise Your Hub For Readers

Well pretty much the same way as you do for search engines - oddly enough! Having a clear title and mentioning what the subject of the hub is was something I was taught in school long before SEO was invented!

Hubs aren't articles, we live in a multimedia world and many subjects just scream out for videos and pictures. Why would you not include videos in a hub about popular songs or pictures in a hub about travel? People do though and wonder why they get no readers. If the topic is appropriate add a poll: people like to interact. Tie the poll to the comments capsule. (Hint: this can be an easy way to do market research too).

This also keeps your visitors on your hub for longer - which gives you a tick with Google!

Write something original, informative that others are interested in and you will get readers. If you are stuck for ideas as to what to write about use the request section to answer create hubs which have been specifically asked for.

Spell check and run a grammar checker if you are unsure. Google has learned to spell quite well and the trick of using common typos won't get you ranked any faster these days.

If you use other people's photos, credit them.

Photo Credit

How to Write a Linkbait Hub Which Attracts Visitors and Google

Link bait is a term used to describe a page or in our case a hub which attracts visitors and causes comment. Its basically the art of writing something linkworthy and useful. You need to become a useful place for people to bookmark and return to.

Choosing the right keywords is important yes, in fact probably critical. Promotion is important too but both are a waste of time if your readership hit the back button as soon as they arrive.

Fortunately the guidelines for a good link bait hub are no secret:

  • A minimum of 1500 words, of your own, purely original writing

  • A minimum of 3 relevant video capsules

  • A minimum of 5 relevant non-copyrighted images

  • At least 10 relevant, helpful links to other sources, each with your own 30-50 word description

  • A news capsule (or highly-relevant RSS feed), or eBay Capsule if your topic is product-related

  • 15 relevant tags, including 2-3 common misspellings or spelling variants (if any)

  • Maximum 150 word unique description of the utility of your Flagship Hub in the Summary Text

This is not a list I made up: its the requirements for the HubPage's Flagship Hubs program where approved authors get paid $25-$35 for a hub on an approved topic which fulfils all these criteria, so you can assume that HubPages put some thought into this list and that some of their staff know a thing or two about SEO.

There are interesting elements that most people miss from their hubs:

  • I don't always write 1500 words, but almost always I write more than 800 words; Google does seem to like more text and you will get a higher hubscore which helps to get internal HubPages traffic;
  • videos make your readers stay longer on your page: Google interprets this as meaning your page is useful;
  • captions on images will get picked up on Google image search as these are used for the alt tag and image title (automatically done for you);

  • the outgoing links to authoritative sites are something many people miss out. They fear that readers will follow the link and never return. So put the links at the bottom: below the comments - most people won't read that far. These links appear important for the "credibility" that Google gives to sites.

  • every hub I publish has a newsfeed or an eBay capsule or both: these capsules update frequently: keeping my hub updated and "fresh" to the search engines without me lifting a finger. Amazon doesn't work in the same manner because the listings are far more static;

  • the tags are not used as meta tags so are irrelevant for the search engines: instead they are used for categorising the hubs which appear on the front page of HubPages: study those tags and use them if appropriate for your hub;

  • the hub's summary is displayed in both search engine listing and as the results of internal searches on HubPages: make it unique to please Google and compelling to make a reader click through.

Develop a Network of Focused Hubs

Linking to other hubs (your own or others) is NOT counted as a self-promotional link so interlink your hubs on similar topics. Although you can use the group feature to link hubs in a linear fashion at the bottom of the hub from a SEO perspective it is better to add keyword anchored links within your text.

A more recent program at HubPages with the same payment structure as the Flagship Hub pages mentioned above is called the Capstone hub program. Here the writer produces 15 short (300 word minimum) hubs all on an a related topic plus a longer (500 word minimum) capstone hub which links back to each of the shorter hubs. This program seems to acknowledge the importance of inter-linking hubs and the requirements include at least 2 contextual links within the body of the text to other hubs in the series. The final "capstone hub" links to every other hub in the series.

This approach appears ideal for product reviews and similar topics. You can focus on a group of long tail keywords and test out what works and what doesn't.

How to Optimise Your HubPages Income

Obviously traffic is the key to income. The most useful traffic is that which comes from search engines particularly Google. These are readers with a need: and if your hub provides advertising that will solve that need you will get a sale.

The advertising partners which pay the best for most HubPages authors are in order: Adsense eBay Amazon Kontera

The Best Hubs Design Contextual Advertising

Adsense and Kontera Kontera has only been available for a few months so its hard to tell how successful it will be long term, but their limited number of advertiser makes for much poorer targeting of ads than Adsense and therefore a worse click through rate.

Despite initial fears there seems to be no drop of Adsense revenue on hubs running both Kontera and Adsense

Adsense is consistently most HubPages author's biggest earner. Although the HubPage model of transparent revenue sharing is attractive, and cheap for them to run, it does mean that your Adsense account is used directly in the 60% of impressions that is your share of the revenue. This has a couple of potential down sides:

  • your account is probably smart-priced. If you have other well performing Adsense accounts you may not wish to use your primary Adsense account on HubPages, not that you are allowed more than one Adsense account, but there are ways and means;

  • if someone doesn't like you then can maliciously use your Adsense ID on illegal, pornographic or other bad neighborhood sites. To prevent this make sure you use the Adsense feature which allows you to control which sites can use your Adsense ID. Adding just profile url will cover all your hubs.

The best preforming Adsense placement available at HubPages is a large rectangle inserted to the right of the first block of text. This will only appear if the first text capsule is long enough: about 3 paragraphs and there is not another capsule positioned to the right: e.g. a photo or link.

If you want to maximise your Adsense earnings make sure that this text capsule is long enough to trigger the rectangle. Then break the text into a second capsule to trigger a horizontal line of ads. The ad placement varies as HubPages continually tests their ad placement but a HubPage optimised for Adsense will look something like the picture to the right

You won't always get an image in the rectangle but when you do it has a good click through rate.

Affiliate Sales: eBay and Amazon

To get paid from either of these programs you need to make a sale. When someone clicks through on a product highlighted in an eBay or Amazon capsule your "cookie" is embedded for 24 hours with Amazon and 30 days with eBay. That is why most people do better with eBay.

Unfortunately the eBay capsule only promotes products from and you cannot not use it for other country's eBay sites.

To improve your eBay sales think about what people buy on-line. If you can get it cheaper at your local chain store they won't buy. Also if the item is expensive or very individual i.e. needs to fit, they probably won't buy. Look for relatively cheap items which are cheap i.e. light to ship and which are commodities: bought on price rather than preference.

The best earner with eBay is to get the $25 sign up bonus payable if you introduce a new user to eBay who registers and buys within 30 days. To get the registration you need to need to include an affiliate link pointing to the registration page: this will also point the user to their country's eBay store if appropriate.

Buying Keywords

Advanced HubPage Earnings

The real long-term benefit of HubPages is not really the direct income that you can make from it. The most successful hub authors make around $1000+ / month from their hubs. This requires a reasonable number of hubs but it is passive income once the hub is written and assuming you have automatic updating set-up courtesy of news feeds and eBay capsules.

For most people starting from scratch on HubPages they will see little to no earnings for the first six months. Age counts for quite a lot with Google - just getting older will help a hub get ranked.

The single most important thing you can do to maximise your hub earnings is to:

Select The Right Topics For Your Hubs

More importantly it your hubs need to be written around the right buying keywords:

  • keywords which people who are buying are looking for hint: people looking for hot Nicole Kidman pictures are rarely buying anything, compared to those who search for a blue iPod player.

  • you need a keyword which has some search traffic - here's a hint there's about 1 person a day who searches for "internet marketing hubpages"- I know because they end up on my hub- there's just not enough them to matter :-)

  • find a topic which doesn't have huge amount of competition, as a beginner you don't have a hope to get to the top spot on "credit cards" or "money" or "lose weight"

Other Affiliate Signups

You are allowed to promote other affiliate programs on HubPages so long as you stay within the TOS. Getting people to sign-up with relevant sites or services can make you additional income.

This is the 4th and final (for now) hub in my how to hub series - the other hubs are:

Part One: Make Money Writing

Part Two: Develop Your Own Website or HubPages

If you want to read more of journey to retirement on the internet check out my blog below!

Part Three: HubPages - Start of Your On-Line Business?


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